Panthers gear up for No. 8 Tigers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Early in the season, Georgiana High School was not picked to make the playoffs.

Those preseason prognosticators were proven wrong when the Panthers knocked off Washington County in a showdown for the No. 4 slot two weeks ago.

&uot;We are excited about being in the playoffs,&uot; Georgiana Head Coach Keith York said. &uot;There are 32 2A’s left playing football in the state of Alabama and we are one of them. But, we aren’t content just being in the playoffs. We are going to try our best to advance in them. But, we need to work hard this week and have a good focused week of practice.&uot;

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The final two games of the Georgiana High School football season were track meets. Georgiana out lasted Washington County 42-35 on a night where there was nearly 700 yards rushing by both squads. The next game the Panthers turned St. Jude into their homecoming dates, shutting them down 34-20. GHS tailback Zane McMeans continued his campaign for a 2500-yard season with a 240 yard performance. These two games are the only film that Luverne coach Mike Dubose has seen.

&uot;I’ve been very impressed with them,&uot; Dubose said. &uot;I’ve had the opportunity to watch tapes on them and they are a big physical football team. Coach York and his staff have done a good job this season. Their running back No. 25 (McMeans) is fun to watch. I’ve seen the St. Jude and Washington County films. They are impressive to watch. They are bigger and more physical than I thought they’d be. They’ve got speed and got size.&uot;

But, Dubose is already figuring out ways to slow down the Panther offense.

&uot;We’re not as big as they are and not as fast as we are,&uot; Dubose said. &uot;We’ve got to do a good job of play calling and substituting to slow them down and confuse them. When you get the combination of bigger and faster you have to do some things to stop one, because you can’t stop them from being bigger. We’ve got to do some things in all three phases of the game to slow them down Friday night.&uot;

While Luverne is trying to figure out ways to stop the offense, Georgiana is working on ways to stop the Tiger defense.

&uot;They are a well-coached football team and if we want to be successful Friday night then we need to establish the run early,&uot; said York. &uot;Against Luverne we need to be able to play defense and establish our run against a good run-stopping defense.&uot;

Luverne is coming in the game off a loss to Brantley last Thursday.

&uot;It was a difficult loss for us in a big game,&uot; Dubose said. &uot;It was a rivalry game between two fine football programs. I thought Brantley played extremely well and made plays in critical situations and we didn’t. We didn’t make them we have to do a better job of that. It was a disappointing loss for us, but to a very good football team.&uot;

The loss was tough to swallow, but it did give the Tigers one extra night to prepare for their first round opponent.

Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. and will be played at Luverne’s Glenn Daniel Stadium. Ticket prices are set at $7.